Improving Volkswagen's way of selling with an interactive tool

The Volkswagen brand is one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers. For more than 70 years, they have made innovative technology and attractive design accessible to many people.

Volkswagen is present in more than 150 countries. A huge market, and to be on top of the quality of their international sales, they rolled out the Quality in the Sales process. This program consists of 16 winning points and is designed to be the perfect guide to the sales process.

The challenge

The problem, however, is that all this information can only be read in static paper brochures. And it is thus not used by the car salesmen. Together with the Dutch branch of Volkswagen, my agency took up the challenge to make this process more engaging and interactive.

I began by facilitating a few ideation sessions with key stakeholders and external business advisors. To better understand the problem space, business goals, and key metrics. We brainstormed around the question: ‘How can we make the sales guidelines and best practices more attractive to improve the quality of the sales process?’ The main idea that emerged from these sessions was to reshape and adapt the ‘winning points’ to the journey of buying a car from a customer’s perspective. And instead of a paper brochure, we opted for a website in order to offer more interaction.

One of many design explorations for displaying the various winning points.

Concept testing

We took a lean UX approach and quickly prototyped this concept to get early feedback. During our first user test with a group of car salespeople, we found that it didn’t live up to their expectations. They were afraid of having to work with another tool and process again. They clearly had different needs to optimize their sales process. This was an important learning point. We should have invested more time in the discovery phase to better understand the needs of the end-users.

Setting up an advisory panel

We used these lessons to create a focus group of car dealers who gave us input on what they needed to improve the way they work. From this point on we took an iterative approach where I did several check-ins and co-working sessions with this group, which became our advisory panel, to get constant feedback on our work.

In this way, we were able to add new useful tools. I’ve restructured the IA of the tool through card sorting and tree testing to make it more usable. And I added gamification elements (health check scores) that let users see their progress and compare their results with other teams in the country.

Launching a new way of selling

The new Volkswagen Connect Sales platform had a very successful launch and had a major impact on the sales process. In the following years, we have done several iterations, further optimizing the tool based on the needs of the users. We have also rolled out this concept to other countries, including Dubai and other brands of the Volkswagen Group, such as Audi, Škoda, and MAN.

My role

  • Leading an iterative design process
  • Facilitating creative workshops
  • UX/UI Design: From low-fi mockups to high-fidelity prototype
  • Research: Concept testing, user interviews, usability testing
  • Assessing information architecture with card sorting and tree testing

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